Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 06:11 PM
Twitter releases Google-inspired transparency report, showing US in the lead for user data requests, as site loses NYC legal battle over privacy of user data.
Microsoft writes off $6.2 billion spent on aQuantive, "slows" Internet hopes.
AMC Networks stock rises on AT&T settlement.
Anderson Cooper, CNN's biggest star (finally, bullied?), comes out of the closet.
Apple loses bid to block HTC smartphones from the U.S.
Barclays scandal that cost chairman his title may spread as CEO remains "defiant."
Best Buy considers in-store competitor price-streaming.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 7, 2012 11:55 AM
The last major food that promised to cut weight by inhibiting digestion of fat after ingesting it was potato chips that contained Olestra. And we know what happened with that.
Now, Japan's Kirin Holdings is selling a beverage called Kirin Mets Cola that claims to reduce fat absorption by the body if it's consumed with a meal. Launched in Japan in April in 480ml bottles, Mets Cola became the first cola to receive clearance under Japan's strict new food-regulatory regime, according to BeverageDaily.com.
While it has nothing to do with the New York Mets or baseball, it certainly has a pitch as a "fat busting health drink" for men. No surprise, the cola drink is a runaway hit in Japan.Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2012 12:04 PM
POM Wonderful isn't done fighting the Federal Trade Commission, even in the wake of Monday's smackdown by an FTC administrative-law judge that puts the squeeze on POM's advertising and marketing efforts with regard to health claims. Not by a long shot.
In an extraordinary thumb in the eye of the federal regulatory agency, POM Wonderful greeted online readers of the New York Times and other media websites this morning with a defiant volley of opposition to what the judge handed down.
"FTC v. POM. You be the judge" is the rallying cry for in the brand's FTC response campaign. Clicking on the ad takes readers to a new website, pomtruth.com, which selects quotes from the judge's decision that, taken out of context, appear to favor POM's argument, such as, "Pomegranate juice is a natural fruit product with health promoting characteristics. The safety of pomegranate juice is not in doubt."
Go further and you hit a page headlined: "Out of 600 print and outdoor ads, the judge found less than 2% misleading*. Here are some of the other 98%. ... *And we're fighting for those other 2%."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 22, 2012 02:56 PM
Moskatoloko! A word of advice to Four Loko-maker Phusion Projects: if you're trying to go upmarket with a new "drinks like muscat wine" beverage brand, don't use the term "malt-based" in the press release. Yes, it seems the maker of the infamous "blackout in a can" Four Loko brand (also a "premium flavored malt beverage") is hoping to turn over a new leaf with its new product, Moskato Life.Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Dale Buss on May 21, 2012 05:35 PM
POM Wonderful today hailed a ruling by an FTC administrative law judge as a big win for the company, which has been embroiled with the federal agency for nearly two years over the Federal Trade Commission's concerns that the creator of the pomegranate-juice craze was getting too boastful about the health benefits of its products.
But the FTC also hailed the decision by Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell as a big win. The judge "found that all respondents" from POM "violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by deceptively advertising that Pom products treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction and has entered an order against them." So who gets to declare victory?Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Dale Buss on May 18, 2012 02:51 PM
POM Wonderful can (and does) take credit for introducing Americans to pomegranate as a beverage. But as competitors came into the segment and created their own pomegranate beverages, Pom Wonderful's grip began to slip — especially as the FTC started clamping down on POM's "super health powers!" advertising claims.
The beverage-maker was sued by the FTC in 2010 and it has remained under the watchful eye of the feds, who are cracking down on health-related promises by marketers (ask Skechers about their $40 million pay-back to customers).
And in its latest legal twist, this week, POM wasn't able to get a U.S. District Court judge in California to agree with its stance against a tough competitor, Coca-Cola.Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 16, 2012 01:14 PM
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that Skechers has agreed to pay $40 million to settle false advertising charges that, as to USA Today puts it, "mislead consumers with claims that its toning sneakers would do everything from help them lose weight to make their 'bottom half their better half' without ever going to a gym."
The settlement, which will be used to provide refunds to buyers of Shape-ups and other Skechers toning sneakers, is believed to be the FTC's largest ever involving consumer refunds, David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, told USA Today.
“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” stated Vladeck in a press release. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”
The announcement follows Reebok's $25 million settlement in September following similar FTC charges regarding its toning shoe marketing claims. Skecher's settlement was larger than Reebok's, Vladeck told USA Today, because it has a bigger slice of U.S. market share for toning sneakers. Skechers' toning shoes were promoted with celebrity endorsements by Brooke Burke, Joe Montana and Kim Kardashian (in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial).Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 11, 2012 02:11 PM
The obesity debate continues to dominate the public conversation in America. Policymakers and nutritionists and bureaucrats pondered "The Weight of the Nation" at a federal-government conference this week while the four-part HBO series of the same name that debuts on Monday. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are trying to position their brands as part of the solution, via the lobby group where they're the 800 pound gorilla members at any meeting.
The American Beverage Association's "Delivering Choices" campaign has already launched on TV to promote "how America's beverage companies are making it easier to choose the drink that's right for you — with more choices, smaller portions, fewer calories and clear calorie labels." (The sub-text: consumers have choices, and should take personal responsbility for their weight and health.)
The campaign is now getting more targeted with local marketing in the Big Apple. A New York-centric website talks up the Delivering Choices platform while promoting good works by the ABA's members in the city, such as Dr Pepper Snapple Group funding playgrounds in Brooklyn, and the recent Great Recycle event staged by Coca-Cola's Honest Tea brand in Times Square. Facebook and Twitter marketing are reinforcing the messaging.
Now the ABA is expanding its NYC push to the subway system, with a new campaign placing posters on trains and in the stations — New York being the same market where the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has been promoting a healthy agenda, including a PSA campaign depicting their beverages with globs of fat and packets of sugar.Continue reading...